CofC Logo

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Am I required to attend orientation?
What is the New Student Fee?
What should I bring with me to orientation?
Where should I send my immunization records?
What AP, IB and CLEP tests are accepted at the College?
How should I prepare for advising and registration?
May family members participate in orientation?
Does the Office of New Student Programs provide campus tours?
When do classes begin?
When do residence halls open?
When do I pay for tuition?
How do I reserve a room in the residence hall for the semester?
How do I reserve a parking space for the semester?
What meal plans does the College of Charleston offer?
How do I get my Cougar Card (College of Charleston ID)?
How do I set up a mailbox on campus?
How do I set up an e-mail account through the College of Charleston?
Why should I use my College of Charleston e-mail account?
Do I need to take a computer for my room at the College?
What athletic and recreational facilities/services are available?
What student organizations and clubs are offered by the College?

Placement Test FAQs

Will I take a math placement test at orientation?
Will I take a foreign language placement test at orientation?
What if I took a foreign language other than Spanish, French, German or Latin in high school and wish to be tested?
What are the French and German Placement Tests like?
What is the Latin Placement Test like?
How am I placed in Spanish?
How much time do I need for the test?
Is it OK to get "help" during the exam?
Can I take more than one placement test?
Should I take the exam again to better my score?
If I have a disability and cannot access the test, what should I do?


Am I required to attend Orientation?

Yes. Attendance is expected from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days. Non-traditional students who call our office as directed will be assigned express schedules during one of the orientation sessions.

Incoming students who are not able to attend orientation must register after orientation ends, during the late registration period.

What is the New Student fee?
The new student fee of $75.00 is required and charged to all newly admitted, degree-seeking and readmitted students and due with your tuition in August. The New Student Program fee is nonrefundable. This fee covers the costs associated with processing your orientation reservation, placement testing, course registration, and advising activities.

What should I bring with me to orientation?

  • pen and paper
  • valid driver's license or some other form of government issued picture ID
  • College wide ID number
  • spending money
  • alarm clock and bedding (if staying in the residence hall)
  • MyCharleston log in and password (letters not numbers)
  • e-mail sign in and password
  • umbrella
  • comfortable clothes/shoes
  • sweater or sweatshirt (sometimes the classrooms can be chilly)

Where should I send my immunization records?
Send your completed health form with immunization records to:
Student Health Services
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424

Please do not send any health or immunization information to the Office of New Student Programs.

Visit the Student Health Services website or call 843.953.5520 for immunization requirements.

What AP, IB and CLEP tests are accepted at the college?
The list of AP, IB and CLEP tests accepted at the College can be found on the Office of Admissions website.

How should I prepare for advising and registration?
Visit the Academic Advising and Planning Center website. Review the list of general education requirements, and also the major degree worksheets if you have already decided on a major. This will give you an idea of the type of coursework needed to meet graduation requirements and help you begin to develop an academic plan. The advising process is most effective when you have an academic plan before meeting with an advisor, and when you play an active role in making decisions about course selection.

To view a list of the current available courses, visit the Course Listing online provided by the Office of the Registrar. This link gives an accurate listing of courses and seats available, along with dates, times and locations of class meetings. You will not need to sign in with a password to view this listing, and you will not be able to register for classes before Orientation.
What should I know about transfer credits?

The Registrar's Office reviews all transfer students' transcripts to determine transfer course eligibility.

Transcripts from all previous colleges and universities should be sent to:

Registrar's Office
The College of Charleston
66 George St.
Charleston, SC 29424-0001

If you have transfer credits that have not been finalized, you may visit the Registrar's Office (on the 2nd floor of the Lightsey Center) in your free time during orientation. You will need to bring a course catalog description or syllabus from those courses. For more information about transfer credits, visit the admissions website or call 843.953.5670.

May family members participate in orientation?
There is a separate two-day program for adult family members that runs concurrently with the new student orientation sessions. Information will be sent to all new students admitted for the fall. See Family Orientation page for additional details.

During the Family Orientation Program, there are information sessions designed especially for family members, as well as sessions that families may attend with their students. However, because of space limitations and other concerns, several of the student sessions such as academic advising and registration must be attended by students only.

Does the Office of New Student Programs provide campus tours?
The Office of New Student Programs provides tours for participants during orientation only. Prospective students and others interested in campus tours should contact the Office of Admissions at 843.953.5670 to schedule an appointment for a tour.

When do classes begin?
To view the academic calendars, visit the Registrar's Office calendar and important dates web page.

When do residence halls open?
Refer to your assigned date and time mailed to you by the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Call 843.953.2015 if you have housing questions.

When do I pay for tuition?
Paper bills are not mailed to students or parents. All billing will be done electronically. E-Bill notification will be sent to all student e-mail accounts and any e-mail accounts authorized by the student.

It is the student's responsibility to set-up the authorized users for their account or to forward the billing statement to the responsible payer.

A payment plan may be arranged through the treasurer's office. Bills will vary from student to student depending on individual course selection, housing arrangements, labs, participation in various activities and other factors.

For information regarding tuition and fees and payment plans, visit the Office of the Treasurer or call 843.953.5572.

How do I reserve a room in the residence hall for the semester?
After you complete the enrollment confirmation process with the Office of Admissions information about on-campus housing will be mailed to you. Return any necessary forms and fees to the Office of Residence Life and Housing as soon as possible. Space is limited and a room assignment cannot be guaranteed. Visit the Residence Life and Housing website or call 843.953.2015 for further details.

How do I reserve a parking space for the semester?
College of Charleston parking spaces are assigned and paid for one semester in advance. Student parking lot selection priority is based on the student's cumulative credit hours earned and on file in the Office of the Registrar.

*Due to the limited availability of parking spaces, students living in campus housing with less than 30 cumulative credit hours earned and on file in the Office of the Registrar are not eligible to apply for on-campus parking. Please contact the Office of Parking Services for a listing of alternative parking spaces leased to students of the College of Charleston.

Contact the  Office of Parking Services at 843.953.7834 for additional details.

What meal plans does the College of Charleston offer?

Contact the Office of Dining Services at 843.953.5539 for information on next semester's meal plan options.

How do I get my Cougar Card (College of Charleston ID)?
Visit Cougar Card Services on Calhoun St. to have your picture taken and ID made. You will need to have a government form of picture ID to have your Cougar Card created. You may do this during your free time during orientation. Contact Cougar Card Services at 843.953.1100 for additional questions.

PLEASE NOTE: During the summer orientation sessions, ID cards will be given out on Day 2 of orientation after the closing session in the campus bookstore.

How do I set up a mailbox on campus?
Contact the Office of Mail Services at 843.953.5534, or stop by their office located on the first floor of the parking garage on St. Philip St. just across from McAlister Hall.

How do I set up an e-mail account through the College of Charleston?
Admitted students will find a link to e-mail account information on MyCharleston. Students will be emailed their log in information to the email they used on their application. 

Why should I use my College of Charleston e-mail account?
You will be sent important information regarding the College through your College of Charleston e-mail account only. In addition, some professors e-mail course assignments and other information only to students' College accounts.

For more information on the Cmail system, go to the student email section of the student computing blog. 

Do I need to take a computer for my room at the College?
The College of Charleston does not require that each student own a personal computer. Although not necessary, you may find it more convenient to use your own computer.

Students living in a College residence hall have access to Campus ResNet, a highspeed Internet service, at no charge. All students, whether they live on or off campus, can use the computers in Addlestone Library and the 24-hour study facility in the Education Center.

Visit the Student Computing Blog for details on system requirements, computer lab hours and the student e-mail system, etc.

If you have a question about computer use at the College or need a recommendation for a computer purchase, you may e-mail the Academic Computing department.

What athletic and recreational facilities/services are available?
The F. Mitchell Johnson Physical Education Center and the Willard Silcox Physical Education and Health Center (both located near the corner of George and Meeting Sts.) feature basketball, volleyball, badminton and racquetball courts, as well as dance and weight-training rooms, an indoor running track, classrooms, performance laboratories, and departmental offices.

A 25-meter swimming pool, located at the Stern Student Center, is available for recreational and lap swimming during designated hours.

The John Kresse Court in the TD Arena offers seating for 5,000 spectators in intercollegiate contests and other College functions.

Soccer, softball, and baseball teams practice and compete at the Patriots Point Athletics Complex in Mount Pleasant.

The Campus Recreation Services program is designed to provide a variety of activities that contribute to the overall health and well-being of the College community. Intramural sports, sports clubs, open recreation and fitness and instructional programs are offered.

What student organizations and clubs are offered by the College?
There are over 150 special interest clubs and organizations on campus. Visit the Office of Student Life to view a complete listing. If you have an interest that is not represented by one of our organizations, you may request to start your own organization by contacting the Office of Student Life at 843.953.5726.

Placement Testing FAQ

Will I take a math placement test at orientation?

 All students (freshman and transfer) must take the math placement test. (updated January 2013)

Students must complete the math placement test online at least two weeks before they attend orientation and meet with an academic advisor. Please be aware that failure to take the test before orientation will delay your registration.

Taking the test

You can view the instructions about taking the test on the mathematics department website.  If you do not have access to a computer at your home, please note that the test can be taken on any public computer such as those at a public library or the college you are currently attending.

Will I take a foreign language placement test at orientation?
Freshmen who have completed coursework in French, German or Latin at the high school level will be tested in that language. Freshmen have the option to be tested in more than one language.

Foreign Language Placement Tests are offered online. Instructions can be viewed on the Placement Testing website.

Transfer students who are transferring fewer than 12 credit hours in a single foreign language (the College foreign language minimum requirement) will continue taking that language at the next level. For example, a student transfers credit to the College for German 101, so he registers for German 102. No foreign language placement test is necessary. Students with questions about the admissions process for transfers or transferable credit hours should contact the Office of Admissions.

Transfer students who transfer foreign language credit hours to the College from another institution, but wish to begin a different language at the College that they did not take in high school or college, will not need to take a foreign language placement test. They will begin in the language of their choice at the 101 level. Students with questions about the admissions process for transfers or transferable credit hours should contact the Office of Admissions.

Transfer students who do not transfer any foreign language credits to the College but took French, German or Latin in high school will be tested in that language. Foreign Language Placement Tests are offered online. Instructions can be viewed on the Placement Testing website.

Students with questions about the admissions process for transfers or transferable credit hours should contact the Office of Admissions.

What if I took a foreign language other than Spanish, French, German or Latin in high school and wish to be tested?
Arrangements can also be made for individual assessment in Arabic, Chinese, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian. These arrangements often need to wait until students and faculty are back on campus during the school year. For a placement evaluation in one of these languages, please contact:

What are the French and German Placement Tests like?
In order for your advisor to prepare for your first advising meeting, you must have completed all the necessary online placement tests before you attend Orientation--and you don't want to leave Orientation without your schedule in hand! It is suggested that the French, German, Latin and Math (for transfer students) placement tests be completed by June 1 for summer orientation and by December 15 for January orientation. If you do not complete them by the deadline, please take them before you attend orientation so you can have a good meeting with your advisor.

For many of these tests, you will need a computer with Internet access. Choose one with the fastest possible Internet connection (Ethernet or better). If one is not available to you at home, you may access a computer at your school or public library.

What is the Latin Placement Test like?
The exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions testing your knowledge of Latin word forms and grammatical constructions as well as your ability to translate Latin sentences into English. The online test through OAKS normally takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You may not use any supplemental resources to assist you with completing the Latin placement exam.

Please contact Dr. Tim Johnson if you have any additional questions about the Latin Placement Examination.

How am I placed in Spanish?
The Department of Hispanic Studies places you according to the number of years of high school Spanish you have taken. You can find more information about placement testing at the Department of Hispanic Studies website.

Please contact the Department of Hispanic Studies if you have any additional questions about the Spanish placement program.

How much time do I need for the test?
French and German Online Foreign Language Placement Testing

Set aside 45 minutes, so you can take all parts of this test uninterrupted. But depending on your language level, you may be finished in as little as 20 minutes. Most students complete the multiple-choice test in less than 25 minutes. The exam does not have a time limit, so students' exam times vary.

Latin Online Foreign Language Placement Testing

The on-line test normally takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete. You may not use any supplemental resources to assist you with completing the Latin placement exam.

Is it OK to get "help" during the exam?
No. There is no advantage to receiving help from others (including grammar books, native-speaking friends for help with writing, etc.), and we expect you to receive no such help. If you are placed into a class that is harder than you can handle, you may hurt your GPA and scholarships by earning a low grade.

Can I take more than one placement test?
Yes! We want students to study multiple foreign languages at College of Charleston. Students should complete the placement exam for each language that was studied in high school.

Should I take the exam again to better my score?
No, there is no advantage to this. We process your first score and use it to reliably determine where you belong. Just do your best during your test session and you'll be placed into the right class.

If I have a disability and cannot access the test, what should I do?
If you have a disability, please contact the Center for Disability Services at 843.953.1431.